Spring is the season when a lawn really needs some tender loving care as temperatures rise and the grass starts to grow, increasing its reliance on water and fertilizer.
Early spring is a good time for laying turf because the risk of frost is lower, making the soil more workable. Spring is also the ideal time for sowing seed as the soil warms up and rainy days speed germination.
A spring feed is essential to keep the lawn looking green. There are many pre-packaged feeds available. Use a Southern lawn fertilizer.
Toward the end of spring it may be necessary to water occasionally if the last few months have been dry.
Cut the grass once a week, ensuring that the mower is raised to its highest setting for the first few cuts. St. Augustine grass likes to be cut to around 3’’ tall. If lawns are cut any shorter, it causes stress to the grass.
Lightly scarify the lawn, using a spring-tined rake or a mechanical scarifier to remove dead grass, also known as thatch.
Use products like 2-4D or MSM Turf in cooler spring temperatures to get rid of pesky weeds in the lawn.
Remove pernicious weeds, such as dandelions, by digging them out of the ground, taking care to remove the whole root. Others, such as speedwell, clovers and daisies, usually need spraying to remove them; however, this should be avoided during periods of drought. * See note above about what products to use.
Summer is the period when grass is at its most stressed, which means that some lawn care techniques, such as scarifying or aerating, should be avoided in periods of drought.
To keep the lawn looking green during a dry summer, it may be necessary to water it either with an irrigation system or manually with a garden hose or sprinkler. However, lawns can recover quickly from drought, so to conserve water, try to avoid watering except in extreme conditions.
Lawns will need mowing once or twice a week, although this should be stopped during extremely dry periods, and never scalp your grass to the ground.
Autumn is the key season for lawn renovations. Fall care will help to ensure that the grass survives the low temperatures of winter. It will also help the lawn to recover from heavy usage during spring and summer.
Once you have raked up fallen leaves, shred them using a rotary mower then add them to the compost.
Leaves that fall onto the lawn must be raked up and removed to prevent the lawn from dying back due to lack of light. However, the fallen leaves can easily be converted into a rich, nutritious leaf mold that's an excellent soil conditioner for shade-loving plants in beds and is also a great addition to potting soil mixes.
Whereas spring feeds are high in nitrogen to encourage the lawn to grow, the key ingredient in fall fertilizer mixes is potassium because this encourages strong growth and will toughen up the grass for winter.
This is a good time to lay turf or seed the lawn since the soil will be warm. This should also allow enough time for the lawn to establish itself before the onset of winter. Patches can be returfed, and hollows and bumps smoothed out. Small, bare patches are best covered by sowing grass seed.
Use a spring-tined rake or a mechanical scarifier to rip the thatch out of the lawn. Scarify in two directions, the second time deeper than the first; this scarification should be more vigorous than the spring scarification. Rake up all the removed thatch and add it to the compost heap.
There is little to do with the lawn during winter while grass is dormant. If possible, avoid walking on it during frosty periods since this can leave black marks where the grass will eventually die back.
In mild conditions any remaining fallen leaves should be removed because they block out the light, killing the lawn. Leaves can be sucked up with a mower or raked up and added to the compost heap.
Use a pitchfork or aerator to spike the lawn, this allows air to circulate to the grass roots and breaks up compacted soil.